Hot action on the cards in SA Surfing Champs finals

Zoe Steyn in action at the 2019 Mercedez Benz Open at Nahoon Reef
Zoe Steyn in action at the 2019 Mercedez Benz Open at Nahoon Reef
Image: Alan Eason

An exhilarating day of finals action is set to bring the curtain down on the 54th annual Mercedes–Benz South African Surfing Championships hosted by Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality on Sunday at Nahoon Reef.

Nine finals in age divisions from open to over-60 are set to be battled out by 36 surfers in what should be an exciting final day of surfing action.

The men’s open final will have a distinct local flavour to it, along with a number of other finals as three Buffalo City Surfriders make up the four challengers, although former multiple SA champ Greg Emslie will not be one of them after he slipped up in the semifinals.

Bryce du Preez, Tyrell Johnson and Devyn Mattheys will be looking to make it a local champion while Nelson Mandela Bay Surfrider Joshe Faulkner will be aiming to take the title to PE.

In the women’s open division, local defending champ Zoe Steyn continued her top form to again win her heat and power into the final in top form and will be hot favourite to retain her title.

However, she will be challenged by eight-time former champ Heather Clark of Ugu Surfriders, Buffalo City Surfrider teammate Adriel Wolmarans and eThikweni Surfrider Sophie Bell for the coveted title.

The age group divisions then should throw up some cracking action.

The over-35 division will see in form Tyrell Johnson leading the charge as he hunts the open and age group titles, while his brother Orrin Johnson, teammate Devyn Mattheys and Cape Town Surfrider Jacques Antoine make up the final.

The women’s over 30 final will then feature defending champion Heather Clark, Michelle van Kempen of Nelson Mandela Bay, Tasha Mentasti of Cape Town Surfriders and Cindy Anderson of Buffalo City.

Defending champion Emslie, fellow Buffalo City surfers Tristan Johnson and Graeme Field and Warwick Heny of Nelson Mandela Bay make up the over-40 Final, while over-45 defending champion Wayne Monk, Buffalo City teammate Kevin O Brien, Gary van Wieringen of Ugu Surfriders and Pieter Ben Van Rhijn of Nelson Mandela Bay are also in the hunt.

Defending champ Gareth Sepp will then have his fellow Buffalo City Surfrider brothers David and Andre Malherbe, along with Sean Jerram of Cape Town Surfriders to contend with in the over-50 final.

The over-55 final will then consist of defending champion Nick Pike, Buffalo City teammate Mike Brent, Andre Venter of Nelson Mandela Bay and Reg Horne of eThekweni.

The oldest group of surfers at the champs compete in the over-60 division and the four who will be gunning for honours are Gordon Harmer of Buffalo City, David Lipschitz of Nelson Mandela Bay, Warren Wareing of Ugu and Bruce Anderson of Cape Town Surfriders.

The action will get under way at 8am at Nahoon Reef and will end with the open women and open men’s finals at around 12.30, with the awards ceremony following at about 1pm.

Scores will be live during every final on www.liveheats.com/surfingsouthafrica and all of the SA Championships results for the first four days of competition including the heat scores are available on that link.

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